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Statement from Dr. Andrew Whelton and Mr. Jeff Rosen

2/21/2014

Thank you for the opportunity to brief you today. Jeff Rosen, President of Corona Environmental Consulting, and I will provide you an update about the status of our WV TAP project. We believe it is important to keep the citizens of West Virginia updated about the progress of our WV TAP project.

There are three major objectives to the project and we have made significant progress towards completing all of them. We have engaged world-experts in the fields of drinking water chemical analysis and toxicology and will provide you their names today.

Results from the WV TAP project will be posted at http://www.wvtapprogram.com

I will now turn it over to Jeff to provide an update about two of our major actions.

Since meeting with State officials a little more than a week ago, Dr. Whelton and I have been working diligently to help the people of West Virginia find answers to their questions.

Our first major objective is to determine the odor threshold for 4-MCHM. We have engaged two of the world’s leading researchers in the realm of the tap water chemical and odor analysis. They are Dr. Michael J. McGuire who is an Independent Consultant and UCLA Professor Mel Suffett. Drs. McGuire and Suffett have already begun analysis of a sample of crude MCHM as well as several of its individual components. Last week, they received tap water we shipped to them while collecting drinking water from affected homes. Drs. McGuire and Suffett are working diligently to determine the cause of the tap water odors. We will have more information about their activity on the WV TAP website in the coming weeks.

Our second major objective is to establish an independent panel of experts to evaluate the safety factor for 4-MCHM. We are in negotiations with the nonprofit organization called TERA, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment. TERA will help facilitate the peer review of the chemical screening levels in the State of West Virginia. TERA is an organization that does peer-review and research into toxicology to ensure that inputs to risk assessments are based on the best available science. Several internationally known experts in health risk assessment have been contacted to form a distinguished panel for the independent review. We expect that the expert panel will be finalized in the coming weeks and plan to post who is on the panel on the WV TAP website. 

In support of this activity, Professor Craig Adams of Utah State University has been engaged to conduct a scientific literature review on 4-MCHM toxicity. Dr. Adams is Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This document will be posted on the WV TAP website when complete.

I will now turn it over to Dr. Whelton to describe the third aspect of the project.

For our third major objective, we have completed tap water sampling for 10 homes in the affected region. We completed these actions three days ago. Information we collected while at each home is currently being analyzed. All water samples have been shipped to specialized laboratories for analysis in California, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Eurofins Laboratory, led by Dr. Andy Eaton, Vice President of Eurofin Analytical Laboratories, has contributed intellectual input to this effort. They have a 1 ppb detection limit for 4-MCHM. We are currently awaiting the laboratory results and expect to receive them in 1 to 3 weeks.

Homes were sampled by our experienced field sampling team to maintain water sample integrity and scientifically defensible data. 

-Our team spent 2 to 4 hours at each home. 

-During each visit homeowner interviews were conducted, plumbing systems were inspected, and tap water quality was characterized then collected and shipped to laboratories for additional analysis.

-Ninety water samples were obtained from each home visited.

-Water samples were collected from kitchen faucets and bathroom tubs, both hot and cold water.

-A total of 900 water samples were collected during the 10 home study. 600 are being analyzed and 300 are being held for backup.

These results will be posted on the WV TAP website when available and will be used to design a larger in-home sampling project. The design will result in a scientifically sound monitoring program and will provide the community an estimate of costs and timetable for study completion.

Thank you for the opportunity to brief you today. At this time Jeff and I would like to answer any questions you may have.

*Statement provided by Dr. Andrew Whelton and Jeff Rosen during a press conference.



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